History of the Munchkin Cat:
There are a few mentions of the appearance of short legged cats throughout time. One well known example of these
cats is from 1944 when U.K. Veterinarian Dr. H. E. Williams-Jones describes four generations of short legged cats
living in the wild in England. Included in this description was an 8 year old female who had lead a very healthy life. The
cat's movements were similar to a ferret, and inspire of the short legs, the cat was otherwise normal. Unfortunately
these cats vanished during World War II.
In 1983 music teacher Sandra Hochenedel of Rayville, Louisiana found two cats who had been cornered by a dog
hiding under a pickup truck. Both cats were pregnant, one was black & one was grey. She gave away the grey cat
named "Blueberry" but kept the black one, naming her "Blackberry". Both Blueberry & Blackberry were rather unique in
the fact that they both had short legs on a "normal" sized body. She named these cats "Munchkins" after the little people
in the movie "The Wizard of Oz".
Blackberry's litter consisted of some short legged cats like her & some normal legged cats. One kitten from this litter
was sent to a friend of Sandra called Kay LaFrance, this boy was named Toulouse. Kay established her own colony of
Munchkins on her Monro, Louisiana plantation. All registered Munchkins can be traced back to Blackberry & Toulouse.
There have however been other sightings of cats with a similar appearance throughout the world.
Appearance of the Munchkin Cat:
The Munchkin is a medium sized cat, it can come in any coat length. No purebred should ever be used as an outcross,
and so breeders also face the challenge of trying to achieve consistency in type, while using domestics to outcross.
For this reason, it is likely to take several years to reach a population of breeding Munchkins that are ‘true to type’. Due
to the large gene pool provided by the domestics the breed enjoys very good health.
The predominant feature of the Munchkin is of course the short legs. The back legs are longer than the front legs. Other
than the short legs, the Munchkin should be proportional. The chest should be broad & deep, with a tapering medium
It should be moderate to muscular in build with moderate bone structure. Excessive bowing of the legs is penalised.
Munchkin Cat Temperament:
Munchkins are sweet natured, outgoing & intelligent cats. They are known for being confident & adventurous cats.
Munchkins make wonderful pets – getting along well with children, other cats, dogs and/or pretty much anything you
care to introduce them to! They are a bold cat, and don’t behave any differently because of their size. In fact, based on
their behaviour, it could be interpreted that they think they are the giants of the cat fancy! Just remember – dynamite
comes in small packages!
And, for those who love the endearing personality and gorgeous look of the Munchkin, but prefer longer legs – there is
the non-standard Munchkin! These are the long-legged (non-standard) siblings, to the short-leg (standard) Munchkins.
They are a wonderful pedigree cat and pet, at much less the cost of their dwarf litter mates,
a welcome addition to any cat-loving home!
Munchkin Cat Colours:
All colours & patterns are allowed.
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|About the Munchkin Cat:
Munchkins are a naturally occurring cat, with unusually short legs that is caused by
an autosomal dominant gene.
There have been concerns for health of a breed with such short legs, and it was
questioned if this would have a detrimental affect on the spine as has happened
with some breeds of dogs with shorter legs, such as the Dachshund. Dr Solveig
Pflueger, a feline geneticist who works for T.I.C.A., conducted a 7 year study on
the Munchkin, prior to their acceptance by TICA – and not only did she find that
they were a viable stand-alone breed, she fell in love with them and has been
breeding them herself, ever since! The results of her findings were that ‘the only
thing that the Munchkin trait appears to affect is the long-bone in the legs’. They
can run and jump and get into just as much mischief as any other breed.